The Sand Paper family is a part of our community, living and working right here on our island. As a result, we are committed to sharing the good news about our Island community. We use this space every couple months to focus on some of the good things happening and the numerous generous people who make our Island a better place to live, work and play. Kudos go out to…

The Fireworks Committee for successfully encouraging and supporting several fundraisers held by local businesses to support fireworks displays on the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve. Jackie Liszak, Andrea Carriere, John Lallo and the Chamber of Commerce, among many others worked hard on this successful effort that we will all benefit from.

Bob Conidaris, owner of the Lani Kai Resort, for a donation of over $7,100 to keep the trolleys running on the 4th of July.

Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve for their ongoing education efforts that bring area students into the preserve for a close look at nature and the environment.

Beach Kiwanis for their $5,000 donation to the Beach School PTO and their $20,000 donation to Golisano Children’s Hospital.

The Marine Resources Task Force for planting sea oats at public beach accesses as part of the Beachscape program.

Mound House staff for hosting and educating area students on our area’s Calusa history.

The dedicated volunteers of Adopt-A-Beach who pick up litter on our beach. And all of those who might not be a part of any official effort but who take a bag out each time they walk the beach and pick up litter.

Bay Oaks supporters for their consistent advocacy for the Island’s recreation center and the Islanders it serves.

Principal Larry Wood, Kathy Brindise and Cathy Goodacre Smith on their retirement from Beach Elementary. Between them they have amassed over 100 years experience educating young people.

Taste of the Beach participants and winners and sponsor Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, for a great event that marks the end of season on the beach and showcases our local restaurants.

Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation for their generous support of the community via scholarships and direct donations to a variety of community organizations.

All the generous and engaged Sand Paper readers who share their great stories and photos with us and our readers.

Matanzas on the Bay for their 3rd annual Bluegrass, Brew & BBQ event supporting Operation Open Arms and the work they do with veterans & service members.

Everyone who picks up after themselves on the beach and packs their trash out to the bins at each access point.

The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District on achieving an ISO Property Protection Classification rating of 2, an achievement that only 2% of all the fire districts in the country ever achieve.

The Community Resources Advisory Board (CRAB) and Town Council for the initiation of the Memorial Bench Program. The first one was placed at Newton Park and honors Jo Finney.

Turtle Time volunteers who scour our beach every morning looking for new nests and keeping watch over our existing nests. And to the residents and visitors who follow the law about lights and beach furniture during turtle season.

Doc Ford’s and Ding Darling for their Tarpon Tournament that raised over $50,000 that will support the Ding Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area and those that live around it and walk through it, for their sensitive hosting of nesting coastal birds. The survival of Least Terns, Black Skimmers, Snowy Plovers and other endangered birds depends on successful nesting seasons.

The VFW, Eternal Reefs and those that organized a Memorial Day service honoring the crew of a Marauder B-26 bomber that went down in the Gulf of Mexico in 1942.

Beach Kiwanis for their generous support of swim lessons at Beach pool. By paying for half the costs, they help Island kids learn to swim.

American Legion, Vets Club of America and VFW posts for holding Memorial Day services honoring all those who have given their lives in service to our country.

Beach Brew & Bakery and Wells Fargo Bank for hosting students on a short field trip to learn about money, services, spending and saving the last week of school.

Ellis Etter on his being awarded the Lee Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Junonia Award for his outstanding dedication, commitment and efforts supporting local tourism.

Every person who has volunteered, donated or helped in any way to make our Island home a better place to live, work or play.


Missy Layfield